Definition of profligate
1 : wildly extravagant profligate spending
2 : completely given up to dissipation and licentiousness : shamelessly immoral leading a profligate life
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Examples of profligate in a Sentence
In a curious way, part of the genius of America has been a collective forgetfulness, a talent for somehow outdistancing problems in a headlong race toward something new. It is a form of heedlessness, perhaps, blithe and profligate, but also an exuberant forward spin that may spare people the exhausting obligations of revenge. —Lance Morrow, Time, 4 Apr. 1988
Sure, the trade deficit symbolizes a profligate America, consuming more than it produces and spending more than it has. —Philip Revzin, Wall Street Journal, 17 Mar. 17, 1988
Everyone seemed fond of statistics, but the counterterrorism experts were especially profligate with numbers. —Kurt Andersen, Time, 24 June 1985
She was very profligate in her spending.
profligate movie producers hoping to create the next blockbuster
Recent Examples of profligate from the Web
When a white-collar agency dweeb scolds him for his profligate borrowing, Toomes cold-cocks him — almost as enjoyable as Bane braining the arrogant stockbroker in The Dark Knight Rises.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of eight dissidents in China who said that the Yahoo executives who sat on the board of the humanitarian fund did not do enough to rein in Mr. Wu’s inappropriate and profligate spending.
The main causes of bankruptcy are medical expenses, pay cuts, job loss and divorce, not profligate spending.
But turtle experts worry that profligate collection of wild turtles could put them on a risky path.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'profligate'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Don't Get Overwhelmed By the History of [profligate]
When a royal record keeper reported the "profligation of the knights" almost five centuries ago, he didn't mean the knights were wildly indulging in excesses; he meant they were thoroughly defeated in battle. There's nothing etymologically extreme there; the Latin verb profligare, which is the root of both profligate and the much rarer profligation (meaning "ruin"), means "to strike down," "to destroy," or "to overwhelm." When the adjective profligate first appeared in print in English in the 1500s, it meant "overthrown" or "overwhelmed," but over time the word's meaning shifted to "immoral" or "wildly extravagant."
Origin and Etymology of profligate
Latin profligatus, from past participle of profligare to strike down, from pro- forward, down + -fligare (akin to fligere to strike); akin to Greek phlibein to squeeze
First Known Use: 1617See Words from the same year
Examples of profligate in a Sentence
“Why did you ask that scoundrel, Rawdon Crawley, to dine?” said the Rector to his lady, as they were walking home through the park. “I don't want the fellow. He looks down upon us country people as so many blackamoors. … Besides, he's such an infernal character—he's a gambler—he's a drunkard—he's a profligate in every way.” —William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair, 1848
a profligate who could not really afford the grand style he maintained at Monticello, Jefferson died deeply in debt
a drunken profligate, he was given to wretched excess in every aspect of his life
PROFLIGATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of profligate for English Language Learners
: carelessly and foolishly wasting money, materials, etc. : very wasteful
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